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BBJYO NEWS

Spring 2023

 

"Sitting In With The Masters" workshop series

 

Our Executive Director, J.C. Jefferson Jr., successfully obtained a grant from the Trawick Foundation. This funding has enabled us to launch an exciting new workshop series, providing young Jazz students with the opportunity to engage and learn from master musicians based in the DC metro area. These workshops are designed for high school and advanced middle school musicians who are passionate about jazz. They have the opportunity to "sit in" with the band, play alongside them, and ask questions about their path to becoming a "Master Jazz Musician." The sessions were held at Alice's JAZZ and CULTURAL SOCIETY in NE DC.:

 

March: Janelle Gill, piano

April: Tom Williams, trumpet

May: Bill Heid, organ

June: Student Jam Session

 

 

Spring concert at Westminster "Jazz Night", Celebrating the Legacy of Fred Foss

 

The BBJYO joyfully returned to Westminster church to present "Boss Foss", a concert honoring of Fred Foss, founding director of the orchestra. The students had an exhilarating experience, drawing energy from the best Jazz audience of Washington, DC.! We kicked off the set with a high-energy rendition of Jimmy Heath's Big P, showcasing exceptional solos from every section. And Elliott on drums unleashed his extraordinary talent, leaving everyone amazed!

 

In our orchestra's most extensive performance to date, we delighted the audience with a repertoire of 17 songs divided into three sets. Among the timeless classics were All of Me, Horace Silver's Mexican Hip Dance, and Cold Duck Time, where our exceptionally talented pianist Elena delivered some incredibly hip solo choruses.

 

We showcased Ariel on alto sax premiering my original composition titled Brother Kevin, while our outstanding bassist John took the spotlight with an arrangement of Shiny Stockings. The sensational vocalist Maya delighted us with her swinging and soulful renditions of Come Dance with Me, Imagine My Frustration, Aretha Franklin's powerful Climbing Higher Mountains, and Carmen McRae's rendition of Elusive Butterfly. Hari added a beautiful soprano sax solo to the latter performance.

 

Sean, one of our trumpeters, showcased his beautiful voice with Gregory Porter's On My Way to Harlem and Holding On, featuring Josh on alto sax. The second set kicked off with our sax section impressively improvising on the funky tune I Wanna Move by Rhoda Scott.

Nate on alto sax and Zack on trumpet absolutely wowed the audience with their rendition of Roy Hargrove's Strasbourg St. Denis. Special recognition goes to Luka on guitar and Michael on piano for their incredible solo performances on Strasbourg, and Theo, our newest member on trombone, for his impressive solo work on Mexican Hip Dance.

 

 

 

A "Juneteenth" concert featuring the Cindy Blackman Santana Trio

and the BBJYO Quintet

 

We were delighted to welcome the renowned and iconic drummer Cindy Blackman Santana and her trio as our esteemed guests for the Juneteenth celebration. We collaborated with DC Jazz Festival Education to provide support and promote the afternoon workshop led by Cindy. The attendance for the workshop and the evening concert was fantastic. Prior to Cindy's trio taking the stage, the BBJYO small group delivered a brief performance featuring captivating renditions of "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To," "Mexican Hip Dance," "Corcovado," and "Strasbourg St. Denis." Following that, Cindy delivered a breathtaking performance, accompanied by the talented David Gilmore on guitar and Felix Pastorius on bass. Cindy added Emilio Modeste on tenor sax for this performance.

BBJYO NEWS

Oct-Dec 2022

From The Executive Director:

 

 Happy New Year! The Bethesda Blues and Jazz Foundation fall season was an overwhelming success.

The culmination of the fall season was an outstanding performance by

the BBJYO and our guest artist Ebban Dorsey and the “old dudes.”

 

The Board extends thanks to the parents, youth musicians, Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club

staff and our amazing musical directors. On a personal note,

serving as the Executive Director of the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Foundation

the past few months has truly been a joy. Working with this dedicated Board

that provides guidance, leadership and financial stability,

fuels me to strive for the best musical experience for the orchestra. 

 

I look forward to what great musical opportunities the spring will offer.

Those who attended our fall concert heard me mention that we

received a grant from the Trawick Foundation to produce a series

of workshops called, “Sitting in with the Masters.” These once-a-month workshops

hat will begin in the spring and end in the fall and will allow young musicians

the opportunity to sit in with master jazz musicians. 

 

We are also considering a week long summer youth jazz workshop.

A summer workshop will provide youth musicians an opportunity

to build skills and prepare for our fall season. 

 

Finally, the success of the foundation is achieved through your support and financial contributions.

I want to thank former Bethesda Blues and Jazz Foundation Executive Director

Gary Mason and Mason LLP for his continued support and

for making another generous contribution to the foundation. 

 

 Onward and Upward,

 

J.C. Jefferson Jr.

Executive Director 

Bethesda Blues and Jazz Foundation

Oct 16th @ F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre

At the invitation of the fabulous Rockville Brass Band, the students gave a wonderful concert. It really gave the band a chance to work on their “live” performance chops…a resounding success after only five rehearsals! This was an excellent opportunity for them to “warm up” for the Winter concert. The incredible trombonist Ben Patterson was our guest soloist, tearing' it up on a blues number! As part of our education series, he gave a wonderful clinic at our dress rehearsal for this concert.

 

Dec 13th @ Bethesda Blues & Jazz

The inaugural “Young Artists Series” was a hit!  The energy our special guest, alto saxophonist Ebban Dorsey, brought up in the club was incredible, the  BBJYO got a hold of that energy and was on FIRE! 🔥 

At the dress rehearsal  Ebban got to talk to the musicians about her studies at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and how hard work and dedication to her craft got her there. For our students to see someone very close to their age have these educational and performance opportunities is really inspiring for them.

After remarks from our new executive director, J.C. Jefferson, Jr., the band launched into Jimmy Heath’s  “Big P”, with John Wood’s driving bass line!  It set the stage for an evening of solid swing!!🎺

Ebban Dorsey

 I started the “Young Artist Series” with the incredibly talented Ebban Dorsey in mind.  As a BBJYO alumni under Fred Foss, she felt right at home on the stage and brought her mature, hard swingin' improvisation to the club. It was great!

 We featured her and the BBJYO sax section on Rhoda Scott's funky groove tune

 “I Wanna Move”, and all the saxes got to stretch out and show their talents!

 

Ebban Dorsey Quartet

  After the sax section feature, the audience was treated to a 30 minute quartet set featuring Ebban and our staff…and what a staff it is! Our Associate Director Bob Murad was on keyboards,  the Executive Director J.C. Jefferson, Jr.  was driving the quartet on drums, and of course the great Herman Burney was on bass.  I  had a blast playing “Straight No Chaser” with the band before Ebban stretched  out on “Ceora” and “Firm Roots”. The amount of beautiful music coming from this young musician was  unbelievable!

New Members of BBJYO

We were thrilled to welcome  new members to the band this semester:

Luka Howell (guitar)

Elliott Sepulveda (drums)

Hari Maheswaran (tenor)

They really added their own sound to the group and had fantastic solos! Elliott wasn't able to join us for this concert but we are

looking forward to his soulful grooves this Spring. We were once again thoroughly entertained by our fabulous vocalist 

Maya Samone. Some stand-out tunes she performed were the hard swingin' "Imagine My Frustration" that Ella Fitzgerald sang with

Duke Ellington, and Aretha Franklin's “Climbing Higher Mountains”.

She sang with such power and soulfulness that the band had no choice but to swing just as hard!

Our upcoming Spring  program will be exciting!

I have a new arrangement of the Dave Brubeck classic “Take Five”. We're giving it the Latin Jazz treatment!  Sean Shackelford, one of our senior trumpet players will be featured on Gregory Porter's “On My Way To Harlem”. He is a wonderful vocalist as he is a trumpeter.  Also featured will be our bassist John Wood playing a new arrangement of Frank Foster's “Shiny Stockings”.  We'll hear from Maya Samone on the classic “All of Me”, another new arrangement for the orchestra.  Zack White and Hari Maheswaran, both seniors, will present the music of Lee Morgan and Roy Hargrove in the BBJYO combo.

______________________________________

 

Alumni News

It's always great to hear how former BBJYO members are doing…

 

Carolyn Catan - drums
Carolyn is an Aerospace Eng Major at UMD with an interest in pursuing a Jazz performance studies Minor. To date, she has performed as a drummer with both the University Jazz Band (2 performances to date) and a University Jazz Combo where she is the drummer for a suite of 6 performers (1 performance to date). Carolyn also continues to play piano and clarinet.

 

Helen Catan - guitar

Helen is a Mechanical Engineer Major at VA Tech and will join the ranks of the VA Tech Symphonic Band for the Winter-Spring 2023 year playing clarinet. She continues to play jazz and rock guitar, as well as piano. Helen enjoyed seeing the BBYJO perform on 12/13/22 as an audience member!

 

William Hammann - tenor sax

William is Jazz studies major at William Paterson University  where he performed in a combo headed by the famed guitarist Russell Malone. He's been playing events with friends, studying, and practicing.

 

Juliet Goldberg - trumpet
Juliet is at Indiana University, where she plays in the All Campus Jazz Ensemble and has performed on their Winter concert. In the Spring she will start courses working towards a minor in music.

 

We hope to have them back to perform with the orchestra soon!

Thanks to Herman Burney and BassMint Photo Inc. for all the wonderful photos!

 

About The Orchestra

 Performances with Jazz Masters

Our students have the opportunity to play with some of the greatest Jazz musicians and Jazz bands performing today. Since its founding in 2017, the group has performed with the Grammy award winning Bassist 

Ben Williams, the Grammy nominated Count Basie Orchestra, the award winning vibraphonist Warren Wolf, the Grammy nominated Jazz vocalist Freddy Cole, award wining pianist Sullivan Fortner, international touring Jazz 

vocalist Sharón Clark, and award winning trumpeter Sean Jones. 

BBJYO Performance Venues

As working Jazz musicians themselves, Kenny and Bob are able to find opportunities for our young musicians to be 

a part of the DC Jazz scene and perform at area Jazz venues and festivals to include:

Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival, Mason Jazz Festival, Alice’s Jazz & Cultural Center, Jazz on the Narrows on Kent Island

John Wesley A.M.E. Zion Church Jazz Concert Series, Westminster Church "Jazz Night"

Montgomery County Community Television show, “Jazz Encounters.”​

Masterclasses and Private Instruction during the Pandemic

During the height of the historic "pandemic years" we were able to provide our students with virtual private music instruction as well as incredible masterclasses by some of the hottest Jazz musicians on the scene today:

trumpeters Sean Jones and Terell Stafford, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, saxophonist & vocalist Camille Thurman,

bassist Pepe Gonzalez, pianist Helen Sung, drummer Matt Wilson, pianist John Esposito, and guitarist Kevin McNeal.

Contact Us

7719 Wisconsin Ave. | Bethesda, MD| 20814 | info@bbj-youthorchestra.com

Tel: 240-330-4500

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